Remote working is about tools and trust


By Sabine Beck

This is about collaboration, tools, and trust. In the picture you see me working in my “remote” home-office near Munich. But it could have been in many other places: hotel rooms, trains, lobbies of my members’ companies or the big kitchen table of a ConnectMinds teammate in Denmark.

What makes “remote” pleasant and successful?

“Remote working” mainly means “working apart from each other” - geographically and physically. It is not only about working from an office in your home. You have to deal with time-zones, availability, technology and culture.

Our ConnectMinds team is often all over the place - could be Copenhagen, Iceland, London, Munich, New York, and Zurich, all in one week. Yet, we manage to stay in touch, to collaborate on content and to talk regularly on video-calls. Today's digital technology enables us to do so. This can be great fun - and sometimes hell! You must always be open to learn, try and trust.

I love the gift of freedom and variety remote working presents. The crucial point to get things going and successful when you are not working in the same space with your colleagues is trust. The trust I can feel as an employee as well as the trust I have to grant others in each piece of teamwork.

What’s on my list of suggestions for remote workers?

The impulse to write about “remote” came partly from my own experiences and partly from attending a workshop by my network-friends Claudia Eichler-Liebenow and Jed Cawthorne, who love working together distantly between Germany and Canada. Happy to share some of my favorite learnings and beliefs here. Most may sound easy and things you one would take for granted. But are they?

Collaboration. Put great care into the design and “rules” of your meetings. This time is essential for the spirit of your collaboration and for the quality of the result. E.g. video conferences should start and end in a friendly manner and with clarity; with known goals and results. Improve this by establishing a good remote working culture. Set up regular times for virtual and face-to-face meetings.

Tools. Help and enable each other to use the appropriate tools for collaboration. E.g. for meetings, chats, ideas, tasks, the creation of content or documents. Easy approach: Make a sheet with tools and channels you use and their role and purpose, discuss and align with the team - and remember to share with (new) colleagues.

Trust. Show it to others and accept it when shown to you. This is much more challenging than you might like to think.

Have a great December wherever you work!


Read more about Remote Working:

Other input on Remote Working: